Tesla and Panasonic announced over the weekend they will collaborate on making new photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules at the SolarCity site in Buffalo.
Photovoltaic cells, or solar cells, are used to convert solar energy into electricity. Tesla says it will use the cells and the modules in a solar energy system "that will work seamlessly with Powerwall and Powerpack, Tesla's energy storage products." The Powerwall is a home solar battery. The Powerpack is used by businesses.
Tesla is still in the process of acquiring SolarCity, and this production deal will only go through once its shareholders agree on the acquisition. The company submitted a bid of up to $2.8 billion to buy SolarCity in June. If the deal goes through as planned, Tesla intends to start production on the PV cells in Buffalo in 2017.
SolarCity still intends to open in 2017 at the Riverbend site, despite the recent indictments connected to the Buffalo Billion, which funded the project. There have been reports of delays on payments related to the project.